Thursday, May 7, 2009

Forgiveness

The Bible admonishes us to be forgiving.  "How many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (Matt. 18:21-22).  Have you experienced telling someone that you've forgiven him, and yet, deep inside your heart, you have difficulty of letting go?  Like, "I forgive but I do not easily forget."  This happens when you forgive someone for the same things that happen over and over again.  

True forgiveness means letting go of all the wrongs, not holding any grudge, completely blotting out every offense that has been committed to you.   True forgiveness is hard but that is what God wants us to do, and if we come to Him in prayer, He will surely help us develop a forgiving heart.

  • Forgiving brings blessings to you. "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Pet. 3:8-9)




  • Forgiving others paves the way for you to be forgiven. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:37)









  • Forgiving allows you to forget and move forward.  "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)




  • Forgiving frees you to worship God with your whole heart.  "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gifts there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." (Matt. 5:23-24).







Forgiving proves that you are kind and tenderhearted. "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32)





  • Forgiving makes you Christlike.  "Even as Christ forgave you, so you must also do." (Colossians.3:13)







  • Forgiving is the way you pursue peace and keep from becoming bitter. "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." (Hebrews 12: 14-15)


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